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By Elizabeth Trudell

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Abstract

Information centres in manufacturing environments are often more lightly staffed than their counterparts in biopharma or legal environments. This makes it all the more crucial to make effective use of resources, whether controlled by the information centre or not. Libby Trudell highlights items of interest to information professionals in the manufacturing field from the recent FreePint Series "All about Usage", including best practices for working across the organisation, enabling authentication and managing usage rights.

Item

In recent conversations with a group of information professionals from manufacturing firms, a couple of challenges kept surfacing:

  • One was the importance of working effectively with their information technology (IT) colleagues
  • The other was the ongoing challenge of providing efficient, consistent access to full text, whether it is licensed through journal subscriptions or acquired on-demand. 

 

Partnering with IT

Technology-based projects such as deployment of enterprise content management systems or social media tools are critical to the information centre’s mission, but the budget and implementation are often managed by IT.

In addition, IT policies can place constraints on information service delivery, making it difficult for users to download applications to their desktops or gain access to licensed content when not on the company’s internal network.

Differing perspectives held by IT and the information centre teams may lead to missed opportunities. The FreePint Topic Series "Strategic Alignment of IS and IT" running from January to March 2016 will tackle this very issue. Register for regular updates and a registrants' report. 

Meanwhile, in her article "Setting Strategy with FreePint Research - Looking at the Big Picture", Sophie Alexander provides tips on how to partner effectively with IT, across a variety of organisational structures.

Isabelle Garcia ‘s article on approaches to authentication and other recent FreePint reports help information professionals navigate in a world where user demand for mobile access is in conflict with corporate security requirements. 

 

Getting Full Text to Users

There is a technology component to the full text issue, as Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and links may not be captured fully or remain live when transferred from one context (i.e. repository or reference management tool) to another.

Even when links work, there may be rights management issues, as engineers and other users may use or share content for which the organisation does not have enterprise rights.

Many aspects of these challenge were addressed by FreePint experts in the last three months, including interviews with copyright management agencies and product reviews of user tools for managing documents and references.

We also carried out research into web content policies, the first part ("Why Care about Use of Web Content?") has already been published.

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